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Farm, Garden and The Land => Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture => Topic started by: SwampMonster on September 23, 2008, 04:47:44 PM

Title: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: SwampMonster on September 23, 2008, 04:47:44 PM
I have access to a 30x100 flight pen that will only be used during the winter for pheasants. I was thinking about putting in a few chicks in the spring and eat when they get bigger. Any one have any experience in raising chickens?  can you give me some general info?

Swamp
Title: Re: Here Chicky, chicky, boom
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on September 23, 2008, 11:06:11 PM
It's been a few years since we've had any, but here's what I learned when we did.  We had 6, I think, there've been a few beers between then and now.  I ain't no chicken farmer either, so take it for what it's worth. ;)  I went with the trial & error method to learn.

I can't eat a chicken I've raised from a chick.  Yes, I'm a hardcore hillbilly huntin' & killin' machine, but if I cared for it while it was a baby, it's safe from my carnivore side.  Get full grown chickens, or at least pullets.  They take less care to raise up to eatin' size & you don't have to feel guilty when you whack their heads off. ::)  Or listen to the merciless teasing you'll get from your wife when she realizes what a puss you are.  We never ate ours, just collected the eggs, which are the best BTW.

A chicken needs about 3 square feet of living space, figure three square feet of space per chicken in the coop, to determine coop size, obviously more is better.  Free range is the best.
If you're going to allow your chickens to free range during the day, make sure they have an enclosed, safe place to roost at night.  They should be able to roost in an elevated position, i.e. off the ground.  Also, if you're going to allow them to free range, when you first get them they need to stay cooped up for a few weeks.  Opinions for how long vary, but I kept mine cooped for 3 or 4 weeks so they got the idea that the coop was the safe spot to come back to at night, YMMV.

They need fresh water everyday & some kind of supplemental feed if they aren't going to be free ranging, happy chickens.  A couple of hens will share a laying nest & if you want chicks you'll need a rooster.  If you want happy neighbors, you'll want to forget about getting a damn rooster.  They're noisy & they can be mean.  We had a one-eyed rooster that used to like to attack my wife, but only on her right side...you figure it out.   No, I couldn't eat him either.

Chickens are a lot of fun to watch, or I'm just really boring. In general, they're easy to take care of.

**Edited for clarification.**
Title: Re: Here Chicky, chicky, boom
Post by: SwampMonster on September 24, 2008, 06:59:25 AM
Thanks for the info. I am mainly wanting the eggs and meat so no rooster. However that would be a great way to get my neighbors to shut there dog up at night.

Swamp
Title: Re: Here Chicky, chicky, boom
Post by: sassiesmom on October 03, 2008, 08:22:07 PM
Also, make sure you have a secure enclosure...it's amazing what can get in and out of a chicken pen!

If you do decide that chicks are the way to go, make sure you get them vaccinated or get them medicated feed.  There are a few diseases that could reduce your flock and you don't want to deal with the loss (lost time and $$)

There are some really good Yahoo Groups where you can find a lot of good information, or check out the Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens from your library.  Good info on housing, handling, feeding, and even butchering and storing. 

I'm a city-slicker myself, but we've had chickens for a few years now and am learning a bit about it.  The meat is much better than store bought.  If you purchase meat birds (chicks), you'll notice more fat on them once you butcher than if you purchase more of a heritage breed. We've done both the meat birds and heritage and although the meat is a bit more tender on the meat birds, we really liked the heritage birds for flavour.  Barred Rock chickens are a really nice bird, nice size and dress out fairly large with not as much fat on them.  They're not as meaty on the breast, but still a good eating bird.  They also lay really nice eggs as well.  Buff Orpington are also a nice bird as well as the Wyandottes.  Larger birds, nice large eggs, and good meat. 

Best wishes!  I hope it all goes well for you!
Cathy
BC

Title: Re: Here Chicky, chicky, boom
Post by: SwampMonster on October 03, 2008, 08:40:50 PM
Thanks Cathy,

  I have access to both a quail house and a flight pen. Figure the pen will be the one I use, if 500 Pheasants cant get out 10 or so chicken will stay.

swamp
Title: Re: Here Chicky, chicky, boom
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on October 04, 2008, 03:58:46 AM
Barred Rocks are beautiful birds.  We had Rhode Island Reds, Polish Crested & Guineas for a time.  The Rhodie's & the Polish ended up being the only ones that stuck around.  The Guineas, while being great for keeping bugs down are a little rangy.  They had a tendency to roam quite a bit farther than the others, which usually stayed within the yard or just on the edges of it.
Title: Newbie chicken advice
Post by: Stein on October 08, 2008, 03:22:22 PM
I am seriously hashing out the idea of keeping 2-3 hens for eggs.  We wouldn't consider meat birds, at least until we get some experience under our belt.  I am checking into city regulations now and should know soon what is allowed, but I assume that 2-3 hens would be ok.

The general idea would be to build a simple henhouse and have a caged run sticking off the front.  Total footprint would be maybe 4' x 20'?  Just guessing right now.

Anyway, my two concerns would be noise/smell from our neighbors perspective and the amount of ongoing work.  I figure the smell would be minimal to nothing if we kept it clean, but are hens noisy at all?  I don't need silence, but I do have respect for both our neighbors.

What about daily work required?  I don't know jack about chickens but assume daily feeding and egg collection would be required.  What about cleaning the henhouse and run?  Can they go 5 days with just feeding?  I often take Mon-Fri trips and would prefer my wife not have to mess with cleaning.

Any other tips for a total newbie?

Edit:  Just noticed this is similar to the other chicken thread, feel free to consolidate if necessary.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: BigDanInTX on October 08, 2008, 03:33:11 PM
Last week, I did try and look up info for my city about chickens.  Only thing I could find was a site that had a rundown of various cities.  Round Rock was listed and it said 5 if they could be kept >15 feet from a neighbors structure, 10 if they could be kept >25 feet.  I was considering doing  a 5 chicken setup for eggs and the occasional meat chicken.  It's lower on priorities, but it's a neat thing to plan.  =-]
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: Stein on October 08, 2008, 06:51:30 PM
Once I get a few more chickens, I may need one of these.  Anybody here have one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRwNJxk8LrQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRwNJxk8LrQ)
Title: Re: Newbie chicken advice
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on October 08, 2008, 09:49:39 PM
I am seriously hashing out the idea of keeping 2-3 hens for eggs.  We wouldn't consider meat birds, at least until we get some experience under our belt.  I am checking into city regulations now and should know soon what is allowed, but I assume that 2-3 hens would be ok.

The general idea would be to build a simple henhouse and have a caged run sticking off the front.  Total footprint would be maybe 4' x 20'?  Just guessing right now.

Anyway, my two concerns would be noise/smell from our neighbors perspective and the amount of ongoing work.  I figure the smell would be minimal to nothing if we kept it clean, but are hens noisy at all?  I don't need silence, but I do have respect for both our neighbors.

What about daily work required?  I don't know jack about chickens but assume daily feeding and egg collection would be required.  What about cleaning the henhouse and run?  Can they go 5 days with just feeding?  I often take Mon-Fri trips and would prefer my wife not have to mess with cleaning.

Any other tips for a total newbie?

Edit:  Just noticed this is similar to the other chicken thread, feel free to consolidate if necessary.

Daily feeding and watering.  If you plan on being gone for a couple of days throw extra scratch down or get a chicken feeder to fill while you're gone, maybe an extra source of water as well. 

Clean the coop at least once a week, a bonus is chicken manure makes excellent fertilizer.  Don't use it though until it's sat around a while & is no longer "hot".  It needs to age a bit like all compost materials.  If you're growing plants or veggies you'll have no problems using it up.  Like anything else, if you clean regularly the smell won't be intrusive.

If you're only going to have a couple of hens the daily work is going to be minimal.  Hens squawk a bit, but no where near what a rooster will.  Without a rooster being around you'll probably have less squabbles between the hens, which makes for less noise.  At least that's what I noticed with mine. 
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: Stein on October 09, 2008, 10:06:28 PM
Cool, thanks.  That is about what I figured.  I just need to hear back from the city regarding the laws and talk a certain someone into it.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on October 10, 2008, 01:16:02 AM
Last week, I did try and look up info for my city about chickens.  Only thing I could find was a site that had a rundown of various cities.  Round Rock was listed and it said 5 if they could be kept >15 feet from a neighbors structure, 10 if they could be kept >25 feet.  I was considering doing  a 5 chicken setup for eggs and the occasional meat chicken.  It's lower on priorities, but it's a neat thing to plan.  =-]

Wow, I can't believe Round Rock even still allows chickens.  It's a huge frickin' city now, I could see it when I lived there.  There were only 15,000 people or so then.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: archer on October 10, 2008, 11:22:16 AM
After talking about the prices of food with my wife (thanks Jack for the great podcast), she mentioned that it might be a good time to get some chickens. Anyone have any experience with Bantams?
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: jeremya on October 10, 2008, 11:56:04 AM
Last week, I did try and look up info for my city about chickens.  Only thing I could find was a site that had a rundown of various cities.  Round Rock was listed and it said 5 if they could be kept >15 feet from a neighbors structure, 10 if they could be kept >25 feet.  I was considering doing  a 5 chicken setup for eggs and the occasional meat chicken.  It's lower on priorities, but it's a neat thing to plan.  =-]

Wow, I can't believe Round Rock even still allows chickens.  It's a huge frickin' city now, I could see it when I lived there.  There were only 15,000 people or so then.

I live on the Cedar Park/Austin border and people have horses in their back yard. :)

-- Jeremy
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on October 10, 2008, 12:20:39 PM
Last week, I did try and look up info for my city about chickens.  Only thing I could find was a site that had a rundown of various cities.  Round Rock was listed and it said 5 if they could be kept >15 feet from a neighbors structure, 10 if they could be kept >25 feet.  I was considering doing  a 5 chicken setup for eggs and the occasional meat chicken.  It's lower on priorities, but it's a neat thing to plan.  =-]

Wow, I can't believe Round Rock even still allows chickens.  It's a huge frickin' city now, I could see it when I lived there.  There were only 15,000 people or so then.

I live on the Cedar Park/Austin border and people have horses in their back yard. :)

-- Jeremy

**Derail Alert**
I didn't get to Cedar Park the last time I was down there, but I remember it as a few houses & shops with a highway running down the middle of it all.  It was a quiet sleepy little place, even being on the edge of Austin.  But it is Texas after all, so not everything surprises me. ;D
**Back to your regularly scheduled thread**
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: BigDanInTX on October 10, 2008, 12:26:11 PM
LOL, found the page I got my info on...  let's see how off I was...

http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/chickenlaws.html (http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/chickenlaws.html)

Got the distances wrong... 
Quote
Round Rock, TX.  Up to 5 fowl if your chicken pen is 25 ft. away from neighbor's residences.  If the pen is 50 ft. away, you can have 10 fowl.

Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: archer on October 10, 2008, 02:06:09 PM
That's the place I've seen (and lost). Just could not remember how I found it. Cool. I can have some.
Title: Re: Newbie chicken advice
Post by: Bighorn on October 12, 2008, 05:53:12 AM

The general idea would be to build a simple henhouse and have a caged run sticking off the front.  Total footprint would be maybe 4' x 20'?  Just guessing right now.


Have you thought about a chicken tractor? A portable coop might be better if you have a large yard.

Tony
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on October 12, 2008, 09:17:26 PM
Ideas for portable coops. (http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/tractors.html)

Instructable for a chicken tractor. (http://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-Old-Pallets-Into-A-Chicken-Tractor/)

Amazon books about portable coops. (http://www.amazon.com/Chicken-Tractor-Permaculture-Guide-Healthy/dp/0962464864)
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: Stein on October 17, 2008, 06:58:04 PM
Well, I called the city to find out about the regulations.  They told me to fill out an online request.  I did that two weeks ago with no reply.

We live in a town of 14,000, so there can't be that many requests come in.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on October 17, 2008, 09:44:01 PM
Well, I called the city to find out about the regulations.  They told me to fill out an online request.  I did that two weeks ago with no reply.

We live in a town of 14,000, so there can't be that many requests come in.

Honestly, they probably don't even know the answer.  Somebody's probably going to have to research it, whenever they finally get around to it that is.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: CTF250 on October 19, 2008, 07:19:10 AM
Heres a link for info on raising chickens

http://www.backyardchickens.com/
Title: Re: Here Chicky, chicky, boom
Post by: flagtag on October 19, 2008, 02:36:57 PM
It's been a few years since we've had any, but here's what I learned when we did.  We had 6, I think, there've been a few beers between then and now.  I ain't no chicken farmer either, so take it for what it's worth. ;)  I went with the trial & error method to learn.

I can't eat a chicken I've raised from a chick.  Yes, I'm a hardcore hillbilly huntin' & killin' machine, but if I cared for it while it was a baby, it's safe from my carnivore side.  Get full grown chickens, or at least pullets.  They take less care to raise up to eatin' size & you don't have to feel guilty when you whack their heads off. ::)  Or listen to the merciless teasing you'll get from your wife when she realizes what a puss you are.  We never ate ours, just collected the eggs, which are the best BTW.

A chicken needs about 3 square feet of living space, figure three square feet of space per chicken in the coop, to determine coop size, obviously more is better.  Free range is the best.
If you're going to allow your chickens to free range during the day, make sure they have an enclosed, safe place to roost at night.  They should be able to roost in an elevated position, i.e. off the ground.  Also, if you're going to allow them to free range, when you first get them they need to stay cooped up for a few weeks.  Opinions for how long vary, but I kept mine cooped for 3 or 4 weeks so they got the idea that the coop was the safe spot to come back to at night, YMMV.

They need fresh water everyday & some kind of supplemental feed if they aren't going to be free ranging, happy chickens.  A couple of hens will share a laying nest & if you want chicks you'll need a rooster.  If you want happy neighbors, you'll want to forget about getting a damn rooster.  They're noisy & they can be mean.  We had a one-eyed rooster that used to like to attack my wife, but only on her right side...you figure it out.   No, I couldn't eat him either.

Chickens are a lot of fun to watch, or I'm just really boring. In general, they're easy to take care of.

**Edited for clarification.**

Your chicken killing story reminded me of the scene in Jericho where Mamie was talking to the chicken about not running around after she killed it. That was such a funny scene! (She didn't kill it btw - at least not that day)
Don't forget tho that chickens can be mean.  Wear shoes or boots when tending them. (they will grab the skin and twist)
Title: Re: Newbie chicken advice
Post by: keliz5000 on October 26, 2008, 08:05:25 AM
I am seriously hashing out the idea of keeping 2-3 hens for eggs.  We wouldn't consider meat birds, at least until we get some experience under our belt.  I am checking into city regulations now and should know soon what is allowed, but I assume that 2-3 hens would be ok.

The general idea would be to build a simple henhouse and have a caged run sticking off the front.  Total footprint would be maybe 4' x 20'?  Just guessing right now.

Anyway, my two concerns would be noise/smell from our neighbors perspective and the amount of ongoing work.  I figure the smell would be minimal to nothing if we kept it clean, but are hens noisy at all?  I don't need silence, but I do have respect for both our neighbors.

What about daily work required?  I don't know jack about chickens but assume daily feeding and egg collection would be required.  What about cleaning the henhouse and run?  Can they go 5 days with just feeding?  I often take Mon-Fri trips and would prefer my wife not have to mess with cleaning.

Any other tips for a total newbie?

Edit:  Just noticed this is similar to the other chicken thread, feel free to consolidate if necessary.

Hi,

I have a hens in a similar setup to what you were thinking, and I was surprised that they really ran down the grass (10ft by 10ft area) and its just all dirt in there run now, so we ended up extending the run, and we let them into the grassy bit during sunny days.  So I would reccomend making a run that can be moved so this doesn't happen.  Because they really are happier in grass not in dirt.  One of mine makes alot of noise when I go outside if she isn't in her grassy part.  Also hens are great for eating waste if you don't compost it, they love the tops of carrots and wastes from the veg patch and stale bread or cereal and leftover pasta etc.  And we have a strawberry patch, and they eat all the berries that the insects start eating, and giving them table scraps can make the eggs taste different/better.  I got a giant egg once from feeding them grapes.

Good luck!
Kelly
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: flagtag on October 26, 2008, 11:41:58 AM
Do you give them feed as well?
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: Mrs. ElyasWolff on October 30, 2008, 04:24:41 PM
I found a really great site for chicken raising including the different breeds for anyone just starting out.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/LC-howto.html

-C
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: Dan Holiday on December 07, 2008, 11:51:13 AM
I'm also considering keeping some chickens out back just for the eggs.  However, if one of our concerns is bird flu, is it really a good idea to have chickens in the back yard.  Wouldn't that be a risk?
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: Kilgor on February 28, 2009, 09:17:42 AM
Get a copy of Carla Emory's "Encyclopedia of Country Living" http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Country-Living-Carla-Emery/dp/1570615535/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235837675&sr=8-1

It has everything you need to know about raising chickens (written in easy to follow language) and in addition a lot of extremely useful information about other topics.

You will thank me later.  ;D
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: Cornhusker on March 02, 2009, 02:00:24 PM
We usually butcher 25-50 chickens in a year and always have some egg layers around.
They mostly free range but we do throw out some layer crumbles for them.
I can't tell you how much better the meat and eggs are from home grown birds, you just have to try it.
I bought some store eggs a while back and could hardly stand to eat the pale runny things.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: oktheniknow on November 21, 2014, 12:26:44 PM
Thought I would add this article - http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/306625/gravity-feeder-with-pvc-and-a-galvanized-garbage-pail-pics
If I ever get chickens will need a way to feed them when away.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: jerseyboy on May 03, 2018, 10:21:19 PM
Chicken question.

DW and I have plans to purchase some acreage within the next 5 years. She is a reluctant participant but I have her this far along so far. Ok, so she has two friends who live on farms. One said she will never have chickens for two reasons. 1. They smell awful even from far away. 2. They all eventually get killed by predators. 

I have pretty much told my DW not to believe it and I was doing pretty well.  However, she just talked to her other friend whose husband just built a coop and bought chickens.  She told my DW that the chickens smell awful and that they fight over it every day.

So I am currently losing this battle.

What do you all do to eliminate the smell from chickens? Urine smell I suppose.

Jerseyboy
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: CharlesH on May 04, 2018, 04:21:27 AM
Egg layers or meat birds?  Meat birds are no trouble for us at all.  7-8 weeks out the door and we move them daily in a chicken tractor.  They do make a huge mess, but that mess fertilizes the yard and we have never had an issue with smell.  A layer coop can get a bit aromatic if you have a lot of birds.  But again it hasn’t been an issue for us.  We only keep a few and don’t have a problem.  We periodically add fresh straw or wood chips and clean it out once a year.
 
Predators can be an issue...  we have lost eggs to o’possums and chickens to raccoons and dogs.  I am quick with a .22 for the non-pet predators and on the two occasions in 12 years a neighborhood dog killed some, I was friendly but straightforward with the neighbor and received very adequate compensation which motivated them to take better care of their dog.
 
If your spouse is not on board yet with the move, I’d probably wait on the chickens until she is comfortable.  But the birds themselves should work out ok.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: jerseyboy on May 04, 2018, 06:40:39 AM
Yes, egg layers.

Thanks for the reply. 

Also, can anyone compare the smell and predation when you compare coop/run to coop/free range?

I would think that free range would cut down on smell and increase death rate from predators. Or does even overnight in the coop generate a lot of excrement?

Thanks,
Jerseyboy
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: Morning Sunshine on May 04, 2018, 06:49:00 AM
My hens do not stink.  They are probably 100 yards away from the house, and downwind 98% of the time (every so often the wind blows from the south east instead of the north west).  Even going down there close by, I do not smell the stink.
When I clean it out, it stinks.  but I do what is called the deep bedding method - https://www.rootsimple.com/2011/04/deep-bedding-for-chickens/ he advocates not doing it in the hen house, but I do.
I clean it out once a year, usually about now.  And it smells more like compost-y dirt than nasty chicken smell.

My hens also free range for most of the time (we have a new dog who cannot resist chasing the running-squeaky-chew toys, so until we can get her to quit that, the hens are locked up), and while we do loose some to predators, it is not often with the adult hens.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: bigbear on May 04, 2018, 01:11:04 PM
Nothing evokes memories and emotions quite like smells.  We baked cookies to sell "a cozy home."  I remember the popcorn smell of my first movie theatre experience.  I remember the hospital smell of the operating room during my wife's first C-section.  The first two are vastly overrated (we did sell the house and the movie was "Baby" - mid-80's dinosaur movie).  But they are special memories.  Unfortunately, the chicken coop is the opposite end of that emotional/memory spectrum and evokes the same type of passionate response... 

The TL:DR version:  the odor concern is an overrated emotional response.

Odor was my wife's primary concern too.  We ended up getting a free coop, 6 chickens, and material for a run.  So it's a 'too good to pass up' deal.  But she now agrees that the odor is minimal for the most part.  But there are times when it does smell (and of course she says "I told you so" then!).  As far as I'm aware it's not so much the type of bird, but how you house them that causes any smell.

I'd say three main points:
1. Place your coop down wind.  Ours is fairly close (20' or so) to the basement door, but it's down wind.  But even without the wind we don't smell it (even on the bad days) unless we're within 5-10' feet. 

2. Moisture is the primary catalyst of the smell.  Especially on those damp days of spring.  Not so much in the coop itself (I guess depending on the coop - ours is elevated), but for the run that's more exposed to the weather.  The floor of the run gets wet and the poop starts breaking down.  Then starts evaporating and those little particles get airborne...  But minimizing moisture in the coop itself is a priority.  Make sure it's watertight but has good ventilation.  Not only does it keep the odor level down, but it actually helps the chickens stay warmer in colder weather too.  I just use a 3-4" layer straw/hay in the coop.  It gets changed out every 2-3 months.
* Coop design is important.  The most poop filled spot is under some type of roost.  So make the spot under the coops roost easy to clean.  You'll see some good options with a simple Google search.  I have linoleum flooring in my coop and can open one side of the coop to squeegee out the dirty straw into a trash can for the compost. 

MS - do you have a run that's deep litter too?  Or is it just the coop/hen house?

3. Masking the smell is an option.  There are a ton of aromatic herbs that serves multiple purposes (masking, personal use, beneficial for the chickens, beneficial for the garden...).  I have a good bit of lemon balm and lavender around the coop.  Not a ton of help in the winter/early spring.  But it helps some in the summer/fall. 

Predators - The first winter after I extended our run, we lost the whole flock to a raccoon.  Every other morning was finding a new spot where the raccoon got in.  I finally put a metal roof on the run and haven't had a problem since.  I originally used stapled garden clothe.  Whoops...  Now I leave two traps set near the coop.  My takeaway, don't use garden clothe ("chicken wire").  Use a heavier gage wire.  I scored some free chain link fence for the sides and wrapped a plastic garden fence around that (to make the holes smaller).  Plus make sure the roof is secure too.

Tractors - I used to free range mine quite a bit.  But they started wandering to the neighbors and getting into my garden more than I wanted.  So I made a 6'x12' tractor kind of like this to move around the yard.  What I do a good bit is put the majority of girls in the tractor and let a few free range.  The free rangers typically stay close to the rest of the flock.
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/whats-chicken-tractor/

I'm kind of minimalist when it comes to chicken care (at least compared to some blogs I've seen).  I feed/water/collect eggs daily (<5 minutes).  A couple of times a week they get to hang out in the tractor (the trick is having some table scraps/treats to get them from coop to tractor and vice versa).  Clean/put new straw 5-6 times a year (10-15 minutes).  Dig out some of the build up in the run once/twice a year (30-60 minutes).  Plus I dust the coop 1-2 times a year with DE.
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: jerseyboy on May 05, 2018, 08:00:08 PM
Great information. Thanks everyone!!

Jerseyboy
Title: Re: Discussion of Chickens (Merged Topic)
Post by: LvsChant on May 06, 2018, 08:05:32 AM
Thanks for the link to the chicken chick site... lots of good info. there... I'll definitely use it when we try our next foray into the world of chicken farming...